Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel obtained a leaked confidential strategy paper that reveals the country’s military is preparing for a potential war with Russia. The German military, the Bundeswehr, released the secret 68-page document internally in September. The Bundeswehr chief, Inspector General Eberhard Zorn, warned that Germany could be attacked, and he proposed plans for a future armed conflict with Russia. The report claims that Germany faces “existential” threats. The document opens stating, “War in Europe is a reality again.” It predicts that the most likely scenario would be a conflict with Russia on NATO’s eastern flank. Der Spiegel noted that the strategy paper stresses the need for “deterrence.”
Twitter has been conducting massive layoffs across its global workforce in the weeks since the company was officially acquired by Elon Musk, but Musk’s slash-and-burn approach to company staffing is running into major compliance issues and violations of local labor laws. This is especially true in Europe, where labor laws typically offer many more protections for workers than comparable laws in the United States. Workers across the continent, including in Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom, have challenged the legality of their terminations. In Germany, workers who were fired from Twitter are fighting back against their terminations and using German labor law to do so. “I think it is important now to use the German protections which are available.
Germany and other NATO countries have been told to impose trade and investment sanctions upon themselves that will outlast today’s proxy war in Ukraine. U.S. President Biden and his State Department spokesmen have explained that Ukraine is just the opening arena in a much broader dynamic that is splitting the world into two opposing sets of economic alliances. This global fracture promises to be a ten- or twenty-year struggle to determine whether the world economy will be a unipolar U.S.-centered dollarized economy, or a multipolar, multi-currency world centered on the Eurasian heartland with mixed public/private economies. President Biden has characterized this split as being between democracies and autocracies. The terminology is typical Orwellian double-speak.
"And ultimately this is also a tremendous opportunity. It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs. That’s very significant and that offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come..." - Secretary of State Antony Blinken On September 26, 2022 both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines were damaged in an explosion which spewed natural gas into the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Poland. There was never any serious consideration that the cause was accidental. Sabotage was immediately suspected. Of course, the United States blamed Russia, but Russia has no reason to sabotage the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Members of three groups known as Last Generation, Scientist Rebellion and Debt for Climate staged several protests today. Some activists entered Germany’s Ministry of Finance with banners on which they accused Finance Minister Christian Lindner of an “empty promise” in regard to debt cancellation. “Dear Christian Lindner”, Debt for Climate said on Twitter. “We know that you are in the building, you just passed our activists. We are here to talk to you about what you promised to do: debt cancellation for the Global South.” The protesters told him to meet them “outside” for a discussion. The same group posted photos. They showed its members inside the Ministry. Some of them had glued their hands to windows, elegant counters, desks and other furniture. Others held big signs. “Cancel the debt of the global south!” one of the banners read.
Circumstantial evidence, just like direct proof, can be used to prove the elements of a crime, the existence or completion of certain acts and the intent or mental state of a defendant. Generally speaking, a prosecutor, to obtain a conviction, needs to show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a certain act and that the defendant acted with specific intent. Nord Stream 1 is a multi-national project operated by Swiss-based Nord Stream AG intended to supply some 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas annually to Europe by directly transporting it from Russia, through twin 1,224 kilometer-long pipelines laid beneath the Baltic Sea, to a German hub, from which the gas would be distributed to other European consumers. The first of the twin pipelines was completed in June 2011 and began supplying gas in November 2011.
The sabotage of the two Nord Stream pipelines leaves Europeans certain to be much poorer and colder this winter, and was an act of international vandalism on an almost unimaginable scale. The attacks severed Russian gas supplies to Europe and caused the release of enormous quantities of methane gas, the prime offender in global warming. This is why no one is going to take responsibility for the crime – and most likely no one will ever be found definitively culpable. Nonetheless, the level of difficulty and sophistication in setting off blasts at three separate locations on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines overwhelmingly suggests a state actor, or actors, was behind it.
The Vauban, Freiburg, Germany - During my talks, I often invite people to time travel in their imagination to a 2030 that’s not utopia, or dystopia, but rather is the result of our having done everything we could possibly have done in those intervening years. We do it because, as Walidah Imarisha puts it, “we can’t build what we can’t imagine”. Unless we cultivate longing for such a future, it will never happen. In spite of having done that exercise now over 100 times, the responses are pretty much always the same. “The birdsong is louder”. “There are far less cars”. “The air smells so much cleaner”. “The streets are full of kids playing”. “There is a strong sense of community”. It’s exciting then to be able to announce that this week I actually managed a spectacular feat of time travel to visit the future they dream of in that exercise, immersing myself in its magic and its deliciousness, with all my senses.
President Joe Biden, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz by his side, promised a White House press conference in early February that the U.S. was “able” to shut down the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea if Russia invaded Ukraine. A reporter asked Biden, “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?” Biden said: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.” When Russia indeed invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Washington was able to get Berlin to suspend the pipeline project that was about to go online, even though it wasn’t in Germany’s interests. The pipeline has remained closed ever since. Why then did someone attack the pipeline on Monday, releasing the gas it contained into the Baltic Sea?
For decades the U.S. opposed European projects to receive energy from Russia. It wants Europe to buy more expensive U.S. oil and gas. Europe's, and especially Germany's industry, depends on cheap energy from Russia. Without it Europe will be de-industrialized and go broke. The U.S. had threatened to disable the pipelines connecting Europe to Russia. Currently the U.S. is winning its war on Europe's, mainly Germany's, industries and people. Yesterday's sabotage attack on the Nord Stream I and II pipelines, which are supposed to bring Russian natural gas to Germany, mean that the the war on Germany has entered its hot phase. A question remains: Whodunnit? Russia has no motive to destroy the pipelines it owns. These are valuable, long term assets and the gas that escaped from them yesterday was on its own worth some $600 to $800 million.
Just yesterday I laid out how the U.S. is winning its war on Europe's industries and people. That war, hidden behind the U.S. created Ukraine crisis, is designed to destroy Europe's manufacturing advantage compared to the U.S. It is more likely though to strengthen the economic position of China and other Asian economies. I have argued that Germany must open the Nord Stream II pipeline which can bring Russian natural gas to Germany without crossing other countries' territory. It must also allow Siemens to repair the defect Nord Stream I compressors. It is in fact inevitable if German's industry is to survive. Others have come to similar conclusion and decided to sabotage the pipelines to make their re-opening impossible: Three offshore lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system have sustained "unprecedented" damage in one day, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the network, said on Tuesday in what one German official has suggested is a "targeted attack”.
Two weeks ago, thousands of dockworkers in the ports of northern Germany went on strike for the third time in just a few weeks. The 48-hour strike for wages that would cover the real inflation being felt by these workers was the longest work stoppage in the ports in more than 40 years — reason enough for the bosses in the port, and beyond, to tremble with fear for their profits and attack the right to strike. Some 17 injunctions have been sought in labor courts to stop the strike. Rainer Dulger, president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), went so far as to call for declaring a “national emergency” to make it easier to break strikes in the future. Even though the leadership of the ver.di union1 denounced these attacks, it ultimately accepted an out-of-court settlement in Hamburg that ruled out further strikes until August 26.
The ver.di union, one of the unions representing workers at the German airline Lufthansa, has called for a new strike on Wednesday, July 27, to demand a 9.5-percent wage increase to address inflation. The strike affects ground workers in maintenance and towing. “The situation at airports is degenerating and employees are increasingly under pressure and overworked due to severe understaffing, high inflation, and no raise for three years,” Christine Behl, a ver.di leader, told AFP. This flows from a shortfall of 7,000 employees in Germany’s aviation sector, the result of precarious jobs marked by low wages, along with the significant number of jobs lost during the pandemic. In a press release addressed to passengers, the union explains, “We want a functioning air traffic without stress and strain for our passengers and employees.
About 4,000 protesters gathered in Munich as the Group of Seven (G7) leading economic powers prepared to hold their annual gathering in Germany’s Bavarian Alps. Organisers said they hoped to mobilise up to 20,000 protesters in the Bavarian city and were disappointed by the initial low turnout at Munich’s Theresienwiese park, German news agency dpa reported. Uwe Hiksch, one of the protest organisers, said potential participants might consider it inappropriate to challenge the world’s wealthiest democracies during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We have the impression that many people are unsettled by the war in Ukraine,” Hiksch told dpa. About 18,000 police officers are deployed around the summit site and the protests.